Issues Facing Student Veterans



Issues Facing Student Veterans
Issues Facing Student Veterans
Rachel Cavenaugh
Assistant Director of Financial Aid &
Veterans Services
Cape Fear Community College
Wilmington, NC
[email protected]
“Best Years of Our Lives” 1946
• A 1946 movie depicting the lives of three
veteran’s returning home after WWII.
Homecoming however was a difficult one
with challenges to employment, marriage,
friendships and readjustment.
• To make our veteran’s have the best years
in the higher education experience, financial
aid officers will have to increase their
awareness of the challenges veterans face.
2014 Race Participants!
• There are over 1.4 million Americans serving on
active duty in the military - Army, Navy, Marines, Air
Force and Coast Guard.
• Another 800,000 are in the active reserves.
• About 14% of all active duty military members are
• There are over 27 million veterans in the United
States today.
• At Cape Fear Community College we have 900
student veterans receiving benefits (Fall 2013) and
several hundred more not receiving benefits.
Veterans Are Coming to College
The new GI Bill makes it possible for many
veterans to attend college. Unlike the past GI
Bill, the new post 9/11GI Bill provides an
allowance for housing and for books. We are
seeing many more veterans in our classes. Our
society increasingly values education and the
community college is responsible for delivering
that education. The returning veteran wants to
further his or her education and to learn skills to
gain employment.
Running with Obstacles
•Student veterans may have had multiple
•Student veterans may have grave physical
injuries and emotional scares
•Student veterans might be reticent to talk
about the experience
•Know your campuses resources for vets
Some Ideas:
Veterans Center
• Reserved for student veterans
• Computers and printer
• Fax service
• VA Certifying official
• Assistance with registration and advising
• Coffee
• Networking opportunities
Veteran to Veteran mentor and tutor
• Veterans volunteer to tutor and mentor each other in areas such as math, for
“Veteran Friendly”
• Veteran Friendly sticker on Faculty and Staff doors
• Student veterans select those offices that are “veteran friendly”
• Veteran Coordinator provides information to interested faculty/staff
• Veterans Day Celebration
Participants in the Wounded Warrior Ride Gather in CFCC’s
Courtyard to be honored and thanked for their service
CFCC Student Veterans were treated to a kayak adventure
Welcoming returning veterans
Community support is invaluable when it comes to assisting veterans with
the successful transition from military to student life. Below are some
things to consider as you welcome veterans back to campus or to your
campus for the first time.
Some simple ways to create a welcoming environment include:
Welcoming military personnel home
Expressing your appreciation of their service
Offering to help with college application paperwork
Being supportive by being patient and listening
Understanding that returning to normal can take time
Student Veterans at Cape Fear Community College
Best Practices at CFCC
Red White and Blue cords for graduates
Attendance Policy for veterans
Student ID’s marked as “veteran”
Representatives on campus to help with
disability filings
Social gatherings for veterans and
families on weekends
Student Veterans Club active and
Wooden funeral urns and canes for
families of veterans & veterans
Helping veterans get service dogs

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